Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Henlow

Competition League - Division 1
Result Henlow 2-1 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 29 September 2012
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Following a disappointing performance at Pavenham last week Sandy were given the chance to rectify it as the league had arranged a game at Henlow due to the hosts not having to play AFC Turvey in the Cup following Turveys withdrawl. Manager Ian Hammett had a dull squad at his disposal despite the absence of players such as Craig Baker, Luke Morgan, JJ and Olly Banfield.

After a good training session in the week Hammett decided to opt for a 4-4-2 formation and rotated the team, handing Dave Lenton a start in the middle of the park with Chris Nicholls on the left and Ryan Gregory on the right, Nathan Morris after looking sharp was given the nod up front alongside Hammett who returned for his first start of the season. Bailey, Burgess and Gill found themselves on the bench this week in the reshuffle.

Henlow started the game the stronger and had Sandy on the back foot right from the off. Sandy weren't moving the ball well and kept giving it away as many players were let down by rusty first touches and out fought by their hosts. Depsite this Henlow offered little threat going forwards for the most part as each time they looked like getting in some good covering by Beally and Wrenny thwarted the danger. Shane Pope made one special last ditch challenge to stop henlow counter attacking through the middle of the park when it looked like Sandy would get caught out.

Sandy offered little, Chris Nicholls didn't look himself out on the left and Ryan Gregory struggled to get involved out wide as Sandy didn't get him the ball. Lenton and Jennings worked hard in the middle of the park but there was little flowing football played. Sandy did almost get in on the counter attack as Ryan Gregory cleared a corner up field and Nathan Morris battled to win the ball off the full back when it looked like it would go for a throw in but as Yosi burst towards the box he couldn't find any of the three purple shirts and the ball was cleared. Sandy it seemed were trying to pump long balls into the box which with the dominant height of Hammett and Morris probably wasn't the best option and the Henlow claimed many of these hopeful balls with ease and under no pressure. Hammett did almost get in on one hopeful ball, but his snap shot from a tight angle went over.

Mid way through the half and the hosts took the lead as Sandy yet again failed to go with runners and were caught out with a long ball and counter attack. The visitors failed to win the first flick and were immediately in trouble as Henlow had a 2 on 1 vs Wrenny. They played the ball sensibly and the striker volleyed the ball home past a helpless Pally to give them a 1-0 lead.

This goal did seem to kickstart Sandy and they got onto the front foot, however the fun and games were just starting as the linesman from Henlow who has the cheek to complain out the inconsistancy of Colin Osborne decided it was time to cheat. First he flagged Yossi offside after a nice exchange with Hammett and then he flagged Hammett off when he was put clear by Morris. Neither decision were even close. The worst decision of the afternoon came though after Sandy won their first corner. A great ball ovetr the top by Dave lenton found Hammett whose cross was blocked away for a corner. Hammett drilled the corner in and Beally rose to head home powerfully drawing the scores level, or so Sandy thought. However the ref blew indicating that the Henlow keeper had his shirt pulled. The Sandy players protested to no avail and it turns out the keeper having obviously totally missed the ball grabbed his own shirt, shouted out and dived on the floor tricking the ref. Sandy were robbed.

The visitors were starting to play some football now and Lenton had a shot from distance before releasing Hammett for a second time, this time Hammett volleyed a right foot cross into the danger area and yossi could only just get his studs on the ball not enough to deflect it goalwards and it was cleared away. Beally then had another chance from a corner as did Jennings but neither of them caught their headers enough to direct them goalwards and trouble the keeper. Despite getting into the game it was Henlow that almost added a second as the ref gave a ridiculous freekick on the edge of the box after Seldon had clearly won the ball.

From the kick Henlow hit the bar with Pally at full length and luckily it was Dave Lenton who reacted first to clear the ball away for a corner. Sandy had not been at the races for the whole half and they trailed 1-0 at the whistle. Half time 0-1.

The second half started the same as the ref frustratingly ruined the game with poor decisions for both sides. Sandy did though come out with some fight and dominated from the start. Jennings won a tackle on the edge of the Henlow box and the ball fell to Gregory who cut in and fired a shot that rattled the post only for the ref to call play back as Jennings was adjudged to have fouled the Henlow players who tackled each other. This was to prove to be Gregorys last action and he was replaced by Ryan Burgess. Burgess keen to make an impact having been put on the bench changed the game for the visitors and immediately took it to Henlow. Running at their left back and getting past him he delivered the ball into the box that Sandy couldn't quite get on the end of.

Shortly after Sandy made another change and went to a 4-3-3 formation with Daniel Bailey coming on and Nathan Morris going off. Again Bailey spurred on to make an impact gave a strong performance, breaking up play and linking the ball seemed to be moved around better as Sandy had more options. Seldon and Shane pushed on and Beally and Wrenny mopped everything up ayt the back as Sandy pushed for an equaliser. Lenton had moved forwards to try and support Hammett and was having an influence. Burgess made another lung busting roun down the right and this time found Lenton who took a touch, turned and fired a shot that crashed back off the bar, with the Henlow keeper having got the slightest of touches.

Pally then kept Sandy in the game as he made a great one handed save from a corner. The ball was swung in and found a player unmarked at the back post, he outjumped everyone and headed the ball powerfully towards the top corner only for Pally to tip it over. Henlow then did have the ball in the net as everyone stopped for offside Colin didn't flag and the play went on, Sandy tried to recover but the ball was played across and apped home, however the flag did go up this time as the player had got in front of the play and was rightly given offside. Sandy had a lifeline.

However shortly after they threw this away as Wrenny was caught out and Beally didn't go with his runner meaning the Henlow forward was through one on one and he stabbed the ball past Pally to extend the lead to 2-0. This was again against the run of play, but sums up the performance were Sandy worked hard and then switched off.

The final change came as Nicholls was replaced with Gilly and with 25 minutes still to go there was plenty of time to save the game. Sandy then finally began to play some football and moved the ball around well. Hammett found space and linked the play and midfiedl supported well. Burgess played a lovely one two with Hammett and then burst into the box, squaring the ball for Lenton who fired the ball over, it woulnd't of mattered though as the ball had 'apparently' run out of play. Then Lenton himself turned provider as Jennings found him down the left he beat the player and then pulled it back for Bailey, who on the run side footed a difficult chance over the bar.

Sandy were theratening and with 15 to go they got their goal. Hammett delivered a corner and Beally made up for his earlier error by heading home from 12 yards. Game on. Henow were now camped in their half and trying to hit Sandy on the counter attack. They succeeded in one attack as they broke and fired a shot from distance. the ball deflected off Beally and Pally made a wonder save, tipping the ball round the corner of the post to keep it 2-1. With the clock running down Lenton had the best chance to equalise as Hammett won a challenge in the middle of the park he ball rebounded to Lenton who was clean through, however after his first touch he cramped up and the winger nipped in to recover and clear the ball before he could poke it home into the net. Hammett then won a freekick on the edge of the box and swung it in, but Wrenny 's header was blocked at the back post and Henlow cleared.

It just wasn't going to be Sandy's afternoon and they were punished for only playing for the last twenty minutes as they suffered a disappointing third defeat of the season. There will need to be an improvement if they want to get anything from their home game next week vs Brickhill. Final score 1-2. 


Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (8)
2. Richard Seldon (6)
3. Shane Pope (7)
3. Ryan Gregory (6)
4. Mark Jennings (6)
5. Andrew Wren (6)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
13. Nathan Morris (6)
17. Phil Beall (6)
18. Chris Nicholls (6)
24. Dave Lenton (7)


7. Ryan Burgess (8)
15. Daniel Bailey (8)
16. David Gill (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Phil Beall


1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

7. Ryan Burgess


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